"Social protection network for children and people with disabilities"
With the recently passed law 4837/2021 (Government Gazette 178/01-10/2021) An important step was taken to strengthen the social protection network for children and people with disabilities. The law incorporates positive actions for the protection of children and prevention of abuse, for preschool education, for sponsorship, to support people with disabilities and adolescents living in institutions.
particularly, with the new settings, including:
A) A necessary framework for prevention is created, dealing with incidents of child abuse and neglect. Child abuse is a real phenomenon according to the data from the "Child's Smile", against which we must all mobilize.
To effectively prevent and deal with such phenomena we must have a reliable system for recording all incidents. This is done for the first time with its creation National Reporting and Monitoring System. Its role is crucial Responsible for the Protection of Minors due, without any delay, inform the competent authorities of any such complaint.
But because, unfortunately, cases of child abuse have been reported within juvenile facilities, It is very important to provide barriers for people working in child protection agencies. It covers a serious gap that existed in the legislation after, hereafter, everyone who works in any employment relationship (even voluntary), they should not have been convicted or even prosecuted for the following offenses: a) against sexual freedom, b) domestic violence, c) human trafficking, d) drug trafficking.
The message is clear: no abusive behavior of any kind with a child victim is tolerated and goes unpunished.
B) For the first time all stations - private and public- acquire specific, a unified pedagogical program aimed at developing the skills of each child individually. Until today in preschool education there was no specific program that the Nurseries and Kindergartens had to follow. The result was that each educator and Station had a completely different approach. Most, Nurseries and nurseries are converted - from childcare facilities- in pedagogical spaces of multifaceted development of their personality.
The "HELL" program contains a detailed schedule program by age group, while being introduced for the first time Mandatory regular monitoring of infants and toddlers by specially trained staff to identify any learning difficulties and developmental problems, to initiate early intervention where required. At an early stage it will be implemented on a pilot basis. This action has been included and will be funded by the Recovery and Resilience Fund, while for the period of the pilot implementation amounts will be allocated 14,5 million. about euros.
C) The institution of sponsorship is promoted. particularly, a significant gap is covered as they are entered directly into Special Registers of Approved Minor Sponsors children who have never been admitted to institutions but enter the sponsorship system directly from the Hospital. In addition, until now, the age requirements were common for those wishing to become contractors or adopt, this changes and the age limits for contractors are widened, (now including those who are 25 to 75 years and have an age difference from the contractor 18-60 years), harmonized with the corresponding European standards.
The law adopted the recommendations of UNICEF and the Ombudsman and establishes three mechanisms for filtering suitability: the level of social research done by the social worker of the contractor, the level of the social worker who works with the child and the level of the social worker of the Region who does the monitoring.
D) The Personal Assistant for People with Disabilities is established. A new institution that aims at the autonomous living of people with disabilities, their deinstitutionalization and the acquisition of a better quality of life for their own individuals and families. He is the person who supports people with disabilities on a daily basis, their individual needs, to become active members of society.
Beneficiaries are all persons with disabilities regardless of the category of disability and place of residence. The 2022 the first one starts, pilot application of the program for people with certified disability of any kind from 16-65 years, while various factors will be taken into account with emphasis on income criteria, so that first of all those who need it the most become beneficiaries for the Assistant. For the pilot stage they will be utilized 42,2 million from the Recovery and Sustainability Fund. It is noted that, no one loses their disability benefit with the personal assistant.
E) A real cut, in relation to the options given to a minor housed in a closed child protection facility, is the fact that teenagers over 15 years can join Semi-Autonomous Living Program offering them a rent subsidy, household expenses, psychosocial support and skills enhancement services in an effort to connect with the labor market.
F) Real support is provided to families and especially to those with working members, as a funding program is implemented 180,0 million euros, to private and public bodies for creation 50.000 new places in nurseries.
in conclusion, the new provisions have an absolutely positive social sign. They bring improvements to the already existing framework, giving solutions to chronic problems.
The Government - faithful to its commitments- is not enough for benefit policies but creates a broad protective net for vulnerable groups.